Acceptance Seems So Pie in the Sky!
This seems like such an ethereal concept, self-
acceptance. So pie in the sky. Cliche in the
self growth industry. I will go so far as to say some
will accuse you of being self-absorbed if you talk
about self-love, forgiveness, acceptance, or any
But yet it seems like a big deal…if you want to be
happy. So what is self-acceptance?
For me, it means you accept all of you, especially
your character defects and “flaws” so that you can
honor and respect yourself right now, without expecting
yourself to change first.
Should We Scold a Child Learning to Walk?
In the video, Morgan explains how her son, Lucas (17 months
old), hasn’t started walking yet. He’s practicing standing up
with the aid of tables and props. When he’s ready, he’ll
Morgan doesn’t yell at him and say, “What’s wrong with you!
You should be walking by now!” If she did that, it would
stifle and hurt Lucas. It may prevent him from wanting to
take ANY kind of risks.
I recently saw a video of an older man reprimanding an
infant because the child couldn’t stand up on his own.
He kept slapping the little boy across the face and butt.
It was very disturbing! The man couldn’t accept this
baby’s inability to stand on his own. Although this is a
drastic example, how often do we treat ourselves with
We Can’t Hate Ourselves into Any New Behavior
We don’t accept where we’re at in life. We berate our
bodies, our bank accounts, our looks, our lack of success.
We can’t hate ourselves into being any certain way.
Acceptance is the first step to change, ironically.
People think that if they accept a flaw, that it will be
permanent. But that just isn’t true. We have to “love”
ourselves into compliance on any new behavior.
So How Can You Practically Apply Self-Acceptance?
How about feeding yourself with some positive self-talk?
Fill in the blank with your biggest self-criticism.
“Sometimes I’m productive; sometimes I’m lazy. I’m always me!”
”Sometimes I make good food choices; sometimes I don’t. I’m always me!”
”Sometimes I take action; sometimes I procrastinate. I’m always me!”
”Sometimes I’m acceptable; sometimes I’m not. OH wait! I’m always
acceptable. I’m always me!”
We’ve been conditioned to think we’re not good enough
and that we have to prove our worth and lovability through
good deeds. But if that were the case, we’d always feel
painfully inadequate and insecure.
And I suppose if we should always feel not enough, that
would be OK too. The key is not to resist all of our negative
thoughts and feelings. It’s part of the human experience.
Don Miguel Ruiz, author of the Four Agreements, says it best
in his book: “The freedom we are looking for is the freedom to
be ourselves, to express ourselves. But if we look at our lives we
will see that most of the time we do things just to please others,
just to be accepted by others, rather than by living our lives
to please ourselves. This is what happened to our freedom.”
When we please ourselves (in the way Ruiz describes), it opens
up a space inside of us to love and accept others easier. I’m
not talking about being self-seeking and selfish. This is so much
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